Inherit the Wind: Darrow Questions Bryan

The great news lull continues, but we will not let that interfere with our blogging activity. Therefore, dear reader, from the movie version of Inherit the Wind, we bring you a couple of videos. The dialogue of the first one is generally true to the trial transcript, but not entirely. Bryan, for instance, didn’t think the six days of creation were necessarily six days of 24 hours. He could be described as an old-earth creationist.

In the trial transcript, Darrow’s questioning of Bryan was extensive — he went into the Flood, the Tower of Babel, and other things. The movie cut all that out, and Bryan’s blow-up at the end didn’t happen. Nevertheless, the film version is reasonably accurate as to the tenor of the event.

The first video is a bit more than six minutes long. After you’ve seen that, here’s part 2; it’s nine and a half minutes long. Have fun.

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10 responses to “Inherit the Wind: Darrow Questions Bryan

  1. Wait a minute!!! Isn’t that Darrin from Bewitched?

    I thought so! It’s witchcraft, I say, witchcraft!! Burn the witches! Burn them!

  2. This is as good an excuse as any to post H.L. Mencken’s blistering obits of WJB. There were two, actually. Most readers are only familiar with the first one from The Baltimore Sun — published 27 July 1925, barely 2 days after Bryan’s death:

    http://www.peeniewallie.com/2005/06/h_l_menckens_ob.html

    Two months or so later, Mencken’s American Mercury magazine ran a follow-up, “To Expose a Fool,” in October 1925:

    http://purple.niagara.edu/chambers/mencken.html

    Time has not mellowed the vitriol, whether or not you agree with Mencken’s views, or method. Pure speculation, but if Christopher Hitchens had outlived Henry Kissinger long enough to write Kissinger’s obituary, he might have outdone Mencken. We’ll never know.

  3. Charles Deetz ;)

    That these same arguments (and denials) are still being played out today is stunning.

    @neonnoodle Thanks for the postscripts of sorts. One can kind-of insert a certain three letter name into the obit and imagine what would happen to that Australian.

  4. NeonNoodle says: “This is as good an excuse as any to post H.L. Mencken’s blistering obits of WJB.”

    Those were good. I wonder what Menken would have to say about people like Hambo?

  5. Where/how did you get a copy of the trial transcript? Is it available online?

  6. For those who don’t have the time right now to read both of H. L. Mencken’s essays about William Jennings Bryan, I urge you to read at least the next to last paragraph of NeonNoodle’s first link, from the Baltimore Sun. (It starts, Bryan was a vulgar and common man…).

  7. Ed 2 asks: “Where/how did you get a copy of the trial transcript? Is it available online?”

    It was published shortly after the trial. I donno if it’s online, but you can probably find a copy on Amazon.

  8. Ed 2 asks about the Scopes trial transcript.

    The complete transcript is available at Amazon in ebook form for Kindle.

  9. docbill1351: “Wait a minute!!! Isn’t that Darrin from Bewitched?”

    You mean “Darwin,” as Endora frequently called him (among other mispronunciations). I knew that when I first saw the movie on TV in 1968, but probably didn’t catch the irony.

  10. Charles Deetz: “That these same arguments (and denials) are still being played out today is stunning.”

    I find it far more stunning how their “positive” claims have retreated.